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. now i'll ask about the faa furloughs, which started yesterday. a group of almost the entire airline industry, including air traffic controller unions, flight attendants, pilot unions, and the industry itself, have written denis mcdonough and the white house a letter saying that the faa should be granted flexibility so they don't have to furlough the air traffic controllers. what do you say to this broad coalition? they say that other agencies have been given such flexibility and they believe the faa should have the same flexibility. >> let me give you some facts. the department of transportation is required by law to cut about $1 billion between now and the end of september; $637 million of that comes from the faa. the faa has initiated a series of cost-saving measures for personnel and non-personnel related, including a hiring freeze, restrictions on travel, termination of certain temporary employees, and reductions to contracts, among other savings. but furloughs cannot be avoided. seventy percent of the faa's operations budget is personnel. the faa must furlough 47,000 employees
, i think they should furlough the president and congress. >> the faa claims it had no choice but to put 15,000 controllers on unpaid furloughs, which means 10% fewer of them working each day. that could mean delays of 3 1/2 hours in atlanta, two hours in chicago and 1 hour and 20 minutes in laguardia. the airlines are furious and argue there are other places to cut. >> the air traffic controllers have never been furloughed. they should not be furloughed now. >> the controllers complain they're being used as political pawns. >> it's the piece of sequestration that affects americans the most. and i don't think that it's fair that air traffic control, particularly air traffic controllers are being used as a pawn. >> ray lahood has a message. >> tell them to fix sequester, and this will go away. >> the administration seems to be saying that any solution to put the air traffic controllers to work must include an overall roll back of the sequester. which does not look like something that's going to happen any time soon. the next few months could be a nightmare for travelers. >> the
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